La Jarochita

Jonathan Amato

La JarochitaLocation: SW 5th and Oak/Stark Parking Lot

Description: This small maroon colored cart is extremely popular, and we know why. It’s because everything they make is just outstanding even basics like burritos and tacos. However, what Jarochita really specializes in are their huaraches, tamales (“wrapped in banana leaves for extra flavor” they state), and sopes. Taco truck expert Extra MSG rates this one as an A-, and I agree. It’s one of the better Mexican carts in the city. In one of those “only in Portland” ethnic cuisine hybrids to meet market demand, they even offer a tofu burrito in addition to meat, bean and cheese, or chile rellenos varieties.

Open from 7AM to 6PM, there are lots of breakfast options for very reasonable prices. The breakfast burritos here must weigh at least 4 pounds each, and come a choice of meats, veggies (including potatoes) and other additions such as eggs and/or sour cream ($4.00 to $5.00). Other breakfast items include a simple (but giant) cheese and vegetable omelet ($4.00), Breakfast Tacos with scrambled eggs and all the other usual fixings ($1.50 each), and a lip-smacking good smokey-salty Chorizo sausage and scrambled egg taco ($1.50). Jarochita_outside.JPG

Jarochita also sells the creamy and refreshing rice based and cinnamon flavored drink known as horchata ($1.00) in addition to several kinds of American and Jarritos (Mexican sodas), and occasionally has other specials. In addition to the outstanding food, nice servers and expanded hours make this one a perennial winner among the mass of taco trucks found around Portland.

Sample Menu:

Tacos: Meat choices include – chicken, fish, asada (steak), pastor (marinated pork), shredded or ground beef. Tacos (comes with rice, beans, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, cilantro, onion, tomato). Crispy corn taco – $1.25, corn tortilla taco – $1.25, flour tortilla taco – $1.50. Vegetarian taco (rice, beans, cheese, etc) – $1.50

Burritos: All are $4.oo. Meat choices include Asada, carnitas (pork), chicken, ground beef, shredded beef, pastor (marinated pork), chorizo (Mexican sausage), fish, shrimp, Fajita (chicken or steak grilled with peppers and onions), Machaca (shredded beef with scrambled eggs), chile relleno, vegetarian. Beans, rice and cheese burrito for $3.00. Beans and cheese burrito for $2.50

Combination Platos: All are $5.00. Platos come with beans, rice, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, cilantro, onion, tomato and lettuce. Comes with your choice of meat.

  • 2 Tacos with choice of corn, flour, or crispy tortillas.
  • Enchilado (their spelling) Burrito Plate
  • Burrito Supreme Plate
  • Chile Relleno Plate
  • Quesadilla Plate
  • Fajita Plate
  • Chicken Tamale Plate

Taco Salad with choice of meat $4.50

Tortas (Mexican sanwiches) come with mayo, beans, cheese, sour cream, onions, tomato, lettuce, avocado. Your choice of meat $4.00

Sopes (thick homemade corn tortilla) $2.00

Huaraches (a thick corn type masa tortilla stuffed with your choice of good things and toppings) $3.00

Hours: M-F Lunch, Open until 5 or 6PM most days, Open Saturdays (sometimes)

Phone: 503-421-9838

Website: Unknown



  1. Their phone number is 503-421-9838. It can be a good idea to call ahead during main lunch hours, since a lot of other people also know they’re the best Mexican cart on the block.

    And yes, their best food isn’t on their main laminated menu, but listed on day-glo paper below the window. Sopes and huaraches take longer than average cart fare since they’re handmade, but they’re worth it. Also, the habanero and red salsas are highly recommended.

    And yeah, the ladies there are very nice.

  2. Oh, and I forgot to mention how amazing their tamales are (two as large as the palm of my hand) tamales stuffed with (can’t remember) chicken or pork in a red sauce and served “Veracruz” style. This means they come in a banana leaf rather than a corn husk and it imparts a different flavor. Very moist and wonderful tamales, and at $3.00 for two, a total bargain.

  3. RunsWithFork says

    Had a great burrito from these guys yesterday. However, you should note their location is currently the corner of SW 3rd and Oak. Also, the carts listed as being on SW 5th between Stark and Oak seem to be in the lot on SW 3rd between Washington and Stark.

  4. Sorry, nope, Jarochita is still on 5th. I just ate there and it was right on the new MAX line on 5th.

    There is a different “cart row” on 3rd, right around the corner. Perhaps you are thinking of that one?

  5. Working downtown for the past 10 years I’ve had a chance to visit most of the Mexican food carts in the area. Jarochita is by far the best burritos cart in town. Their food reminds me of the San Diego burritos carts when I lived there in the early 90s.

    Their ingredients are fresh and the owner is always so friendly. Their huge chicken burrito ($4) is my favorite by far. The white breast chicken is grilled and spiced to perfection. The chicken tamales are really great as well. I noticed that they cook them in banana leaves instead of corn husks.

    If you visit the group of carts by the US Bank building on 5th at lunch time you will notice that the largest lines are in front of Jarochita. It’s a pain waiting but it’s worth it. Lately we have been calling in our orders and going to the front of the line.

    Also they are one of the few carts that are open until 6pm. This is great is you want to bring burritos home instead of cooking dinner. I’ve had many evenings where I’ve made my kids happy by bringing home a bag of burritos.

    Check it out.

  6. John Rebus says

    The burrito enchilado is spelled correctly…your parenthetical statement “their spelling” implies, i assume, that it should be enchilad-A, not ending in O….YOU are incorrect. “Enchilada/o” is an adjective describing something that has been “chile-ed”, in this case, a burrito, thus, enchilad-O. Gringos are only used to the common food genre, “enchilada” which modifies the unstated object, “tortilla”, a feminine noun, thus the A ending. as y’all say: Just saying….

  7. I know they have recognized me when they say: “Señora, que va a llevar?” My answer is either Tamales de Pollo or Huaraches and always with a glass of Horchata. I work right accross the street, but live far, and I’ll come to downtown on days off to eat at this great place! La Jarochita is worth the trip!

  8. loosegravel says

    On Thursday they make a chicken mole burrito that is very good. For breakfast split the chorizo burrito with a friend. For $1.50 they make a breakfast taco that is well worth the money. Of course, you can ask to add or subtract any ingredient. I like that you can choose between pickled or fresh jalapenos.

  9. The food here had been good in the past and still might be but the service is not what should be expected. I have for the second time waited through my lunch hour for food and in the end been asked what I ordered and then received the wrong food. I am certain that I am not unique in this experience but I for one will not recommend this cart. There are lots of other carts in Portland with better food and service.

  10. I had the chicken tamales. One word….. Wow! these things should come with a warning. I almost ate the fork! Thanks for the tip. oNce again you were dead on.

  11. There are two locations for this cart. Last week I went to the one on SW 2nd (an Oak I think). I had the tamales and they were AWESOME! Sometimes tamales can be dry and lacking. These were moise and flavorful. I will definitely be a returning customer!

  12. Do they have a vegetarian tamale? I’m on the look out for fresh veg tamales.

  13. Bryan Schoen says

    Food is good, if you want to wait 20+ minutes for a burrito. More than once they’ve forgotten my order and wasted my time. Wouldn’t recommend if you are looking for a quick bite.

  14. Very good food, but WOW the wait is long. 20 minutes or more at 11:45am, not including line time, both times I’ve been.

  15. Mary Hennrich says

    The owner, Lupe is absolutely THE BEST!! I worked across the street from La Jarochita cart for nearly 10 years and ate lunch there most days. EVERYTHING is fresh and high quality wonderful. Lupe and staff catered our wedding reception near Mt. Hood (for 250 guests) and we were blown away with the quality, quantity and presentation of the food. Still getting raves about it from many of our friends and family. Muchas gracias, Lupe and staff!! Mary Lou and David


  1. […] had a tamale, sopes with chicken and a Pepsi at La Jarochita. $6.50 and […]

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